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Mrie Georgia Historical Quarterly 

Volume IV DECEMBER, 1920 Numbers 4 


Life and Character of Dr. Noble Wymberley Jones 



Did Hippocrates evince his love and attachment to his pro- 
fession by the uncommon zeal and pains he took to instruct 
many of his own family in physical science, and sending 
them afterwards to practice in different countries, the most 
interesting in point of their medical history, with the com- 
mand to dispense the beneficence of their art to all, espe- 
cially the poor on the highway ; and to report to him faithfully 
the results of their observation and experience in climates so 
opposite, the better to enlarge his own mind on the nature and 
cure of disease ? Having first imparted to them his knowledge 
of the principles of medicine and his skill at observation, he 
sent Thessalus, his eldest son, to Thessaly; his younger son, 
Draco, to the Hellespont; and Polybus, his son-in-law, into 
another quarter of Greece. 

The same spirit of devotion and reverence for medicine 
animated the labors and sweetened the professional cares of 
Doctor Jones. Proud of the honor of being a physician, con- 
vinced of the dignity and respect attached to all who dis- 
charge a right, and, with conscience, the solemn obligations 
of that avocation; sensible of the numerous blessings flow- 
ing to society, to humanity, from the well directed exertions of 
his profession; and anxious to discharge his overflowing 
philanthropy through that channel, he would gladly have 
rendered the names of Jones and Doctor indissoluble in his 
family forever. By his entreaties his only surviving child, 
Doctor George Jones, was induced, through a sentiment of 


filial regard, to apply himself to medicine, contrary to his 
original bias. But he extended his solicitude to have his 
name connected with medicine still further. He was de- 
serious that the present young Noble "Wymberly Jones should 
at once perpetuate his name and his profession. 

Like Hippocrates also he applied to comparative anatomy, 
with the view of enlarging his knowledge of the internal and 
intimate structure of man. The wild animals of the forest 
were made subservient to the benefit of his patients. 

He continued to prosecute the duties of his profession in 
common with his father, until 1756, the three or four last 
years of which the burthen of the business devolved upon 

As the settlements extended, he obeyed professional calls 
into the country even as far as Sunbury, which is 40 miles 
from Savannah. The dangers and hardships of the Camp 
had already enured to habits of great labor, activity and 
vigilance. It would seem to have been the religion of his life 
to obey the calls of the sick with whatever difficulties and 
dangers they were accompanied. Such hazard was there to 
life from the ambuscade of the savage, and the lawless depre- 
dations of plundering banditti who lay in wait in the im- 
penetrable morass and robbed and killed in the forest; that 
the practitioner who would then venture to visit alone in the 
country must have had a mind as bold and fearless as it 
was anxious to fulfill its obligations to his patients. On 
horseback, with a weapon of defense, Doctor Jones made his 
professional excursions from the city, whenever called upon 
either by night or day. I regret exceedingly that my per- 
sonal acquaintance with Doctor Jones, formed in the latter 
part of the last year of his life, was necessarily so short; but 
I know enough of him to say that he was an excellent practi- 
tioner of medicine generally. He was correct in conception 
of disease, and bold and prompt in the application of his 
remedies. He was wedded to no particular system or mode of 
practice which left his mind free and open to suggestions 
from reason and changes in the indication of his patient's com- 


plaints. He was cautious and precise in forming his opinion 
of a disease, and vigilant and active in executing it. The 
sensibility of his mind to the end of his life was so great as to 
be acted upon by the smallest portion of truth. "While most 
physicians, from indolence and prejudice, become unchange- 
able in their principles and practice, before they are 40, 
Doctor Jones, at double that age, acknowledged and continued 
to embrace improvements in his profession. He was con- 
vinced that medicine is still in its infancy, and detested that 
stability in error so disgraceful to the healing art. Of this 
rare trait in his character and of the uncommon boldness 
and decision of his practice I became convinced, much to my 
satisfaction and astonishment, soon after my acquaintance 
with him. 

In May, 1804, I consulted his aid in the treatment of a 
ease of Opisthotonos to which I had been called, and pro- 
posed a plan of cure then new to him. Convinced of the 
usual inefficiency of all former methods, he readily assented, 
and urged it to an extent much beyond what experience 
had warranted, I believe to the safety of our patient. 

Of the originality of his judgment and the accommodation 
of his practice to variations in the type and force of disease, 
I will mention another very conspicuous proof. Some time 
in the years between 1756 and 1761, a disease exhibiting all 
the essential characters of what has since been improperly 
called "yellow fever," visited Savannah. Finding the ordi- 
nary remedies for complaints of the season in which it invaded 
to be wholly ineffectual, he had recourse to bleeding and 
other depletive means, with benefit to his patients. This was a 
mode of practice then new and original in autumnal disease. 
In several other instances that have come to my knowledge, 
he has astonished his consulting brethren with the strength 
and boldness of his prescriptions and practice, of which the 
result always proved the correctness and depth of his judg- 
ment. Doctor Jones performed all the common operations in 
Chirurgery with dexterity and adroitness. He was particu- 
larly attentive to the cleanliness and condition of his chirurgi- 


cal instruments, and used them as occasion required, with 
firmness and intrepidity, but he was chiefly pre-eminent in 
the art of the accoucheur. Here he was certainly master of his 
art. For knowledge and experience in this important branch 
of his profession:, he was surpassed by none in this, or per- 
haps any other country. He practiced it with equal reputa- 
tion in Philadelphia, Charleston and Savannah. Here even 
his competitors in the art acknowledged him dexterous and 
expert. Here, his patience, self-denial and devotion to his 
profession were particularly conspicuous, and excited the as- 
tonishment of all who knew him. 

When called upon to administer relief in the line of his 
profession, his exertions were paramount to every difficulty. 
Neither the inclemency of the weather, the untimeliness of the 
hour, nor his own ill health, could operate as barriers to the 
accomplishment of his benevolent purpose. The stream of hu- 
manity springing from the copious reservoir of his heart was 
neither to be congealed by the wintry blasts nor evaporated 
by the summer blaze. Fed by a tributary streamlet from every 
fibre of his system, it could be exhausted only by the termina- 
tion of his life. Sensible to the wants and sufferings of his 
patients, he was a stranger to that counterfeit humanity 
which evaporates in the empty parade and profession of sym- 
pathy. Leaving to others the suspicious practice of announcing 
in words their benevolent and charitable disposition, he spoke, 
by his actions, the reality of his feeling. 

He was remarkably punctual to all his professional en- 
gagements, making every other kind of business subservient 
to them. Indeed, his devotion to his patients was such as to 
induce the belief that, regardless of emolument, motives of 
humanity were the only objects of his professional care. In 
his attendance upon the sick, he made their health his first 
object. So gentle and sympathizing was Doctor Jones' man- 
ner in a sick room that pain and distress seemed to be sus- 
pended in his presence. Humanity blessed his access, and 
hope followed his footsteps. He was compassionate and chari- 
table to the poor; and made no distinction in his medical 


services between them and the rich. Never, I venture to say 
it, never will Savannah again witness a physician possessed of 
as many amiable qualities as those which have endeared the 
memory of Doctor Jones. I smile under the magnitude of 
the subject. 

Who has the language to express or can wield his pen to 
describe in a manner sufficiently vivid and glowing, the toils, 
the cares, the anxieties, and watchings of a physician such 
as our President was. Sedulously devoted to the best in- 
terests of his patients! But I acquire support from you 
citizens of Savannah who know and can conceive, better than I 
can paint, the inestimable value of his medical services. Are 
there any among you who do not recollect with sentiments 
of gratitude some signal mark of attention, benevolence and 
skill, bestowed upon the tender object of your solicitude or 
yourselves? When mankind in another far distant age shall 
have arrived at a more accurate and determinate knowledge 
of the, at present, secret and inexplicable motives to action 
in the human breast; when they shall have learned to reject 
from instances of human greatness the productions of base 
appetities and passions — the idolatry of the present day — 
and shall regard the quantity of volition expended and the 
sum of good attained by the exertions of man, as the only 
square and rule by which to adjudicate portions of reputa- 
tion and fame; then shall beneficence, goodness and philan- 
thropy exult in the reward of their services. Then shall the 
labors of the physician, exposing him to whatever is dis- 
gusting and offensive to the senses, stemming the torrent of 
disease, misery and distress ; and moving in the silent and un- 
ambitious walks of his profession; excite the admiration, and 
insure the gratitude of the human race. 

From this short and imperfect review of the life and 
early opportunities for medical improvement which Doctor 
Jones enjoyed, the inference is irresistible that, had these been 
such as are presented in a course of common medical educa- 
tion, he would have been as great in the science as he was 
in the practice of his profession. A mind such as he possessed, 


laborious, minute and correct, could not fail to have imbibed 
with avidity, and improved upon, the knowledge of others. 
How vast is the difference between the avenues to medical 
knowledge which he commanded and those placed at the dis- 
cretion of the common student of physic! The latter has 
presented to his juvenile and susceptible mind, systematized 
and cleansed from their rubbish, the facts, the opinions, the 
principles and the knowledge, which have been accumulated 
by the industry and genius of his ancestors from Hippocrates 
to Cullen, elucidated by lecture, and impressed by demonstra- 
tion. Doctor Jones had the whole labor of thought and reason 
to perform for himself. What must the labors of that 
physiologist be, who, in forming just notions of the 
Zoonomia, (I mean the laws of organized life), never had his 
mind enriched by that preparatory knowledge which nothing 
but dissection, and the inspection of the various anatomical 
preparations of the human body can impart! What diffi- 
culties obscure the science of Pathology, when our knowledge 
of its basis, Physiology, is either small or incorrect; without 
these two main pillars, how tottering must be the Edifice of 
Medicine! Eeflect, also, how many of the most perplexing 
intricacies of our science have been illustrated by that halo 
of light, with which chemistry has lately invested it. Within 
the limits of the last thirty years Chemistry has detected the 
nature and demonstrated the constituent parts of the element 
in which we live and upon which we depend for every moment 
of our existence. Within the same short time she has satis- 
fied us upon the knotty and difficult subjects of respiration 
and animal heat; and convinced us that digestion is effected 
neither by trituration nor fermentation. She has exploded 
the ancient and very general belief of putrefaction in the fluids 
of the living system. She has purified and enlarged our views 
of the Materia Medica, and improved the science even of 
Chirurgery. She is now opening an extensive field of pneu- 
matic remedies, and promises fairly to analyze that gas of 
Pandora which, in epidemic form, pervades the world. But 
with how many impediments do we meet in attempting to con- 



ceive of and reason upon these brilliant discoveries, without 
the aid of the experiments and demonstrations of him who is 
skilled in this branch of our profession? Of these Doctor 
Jones was deprived both by the time of his application and the 
penury of his opportunities. When we consider this, and view 
the point of eminence he attained in his profession, we have 
a right to exclaim — He was a physician as great as he was 

Doctor Jones' private, moral and religious character, was 
without a shade or a blemish. If the early part of his life, 
spent in the midst of toils, dangers, and watchings, had nerved 
his system and evolved his constitution to a degree well suited 
to the duties of an arduous and laborious profession, it will be 
admitted that it was exposed to causes unfriendly to the germ- 
ination and growth of the seeds of humanity, morality and 
virtue. But neither the licentiousness and profligacy of the 
camp, nor the carnage of war, could harden the native sus- 
ceptibility of his mind against that divine philanthropy which 
sympathizes in the distress and woe of another, or weaken the 
original propensity of his heart to whatever in piety and re- 
ligion exalts and dignifies the human character. Having laid 
his hand upon the key that unlocks a knowledge of the causes 
which injure or ameliorate the physical and moral conditions 
of human nature, he applied it to himself with prudence and 
judgment, throughout his long life. To industry and activity 
he united the greatest temperance. With how much wisdom 
he adopted and practiced the latter virtue those know best 
who, like himself, are possessed of a knowledge of the del- 
eterious effects of those physical agents which if they do not 
contract the sphere of life — a position be denied — do worse ; 
in the destruction of our native susceptibility of moral and 
physical truth, and in the obliteration of that exalted sense — 
the lamp of the mind — the sense of conscience and of God. 

Endowed naturally with the faculties for improvement, 
vast and infinite, we are ushered into a world of causes of 
opposite effects with the liberty to use or abuse them. Adapted 


by the organization of our nature to hold extensive relation 
with external and surrounding objects, the most secret re- 
cesses of mind are not a sanctuary from their encroachment. 
Framed by the great Architect for the purpose of investigat- 
ing, we are in turn affected by the objects of creation. Born 
with capacity only, we are indebted to these external agents 
not merely for the support and actions of life, but for the 
development of thought and mind. By them we move and 
exist; by them we are taught to cogitate, to reason, and to 
adore our Maker. 

Amidst the causes which thus impart life and health to 
the body and organization and action to the mind, an infinity 
of others are blended which have the power to pervert and de- 
range the one, and lay waste the other, to the influence of 
which we are equally propensed. Fortunate and happy in- 
deed is he, therefore, who has acquired the sense to discrim- 
inate between them — who has the knowledge and wisdom to 
detect, and the fortitude and magnanimity to resist the latter. 
In this important branch of the philosophy of human life, 
the life of Doctor Jones abounds with examples of the greatest 
wisdom demonstrated in his action and conduct. 

Led by his knowledge in Physiological Science to unravel 
the mazes which connect the mind and body in reciprocal 
action, he was struck with the mutual dependence and ulti- 
mate reciprocity of their movements, he saw that an agent or 
impression applied to the body, by a law of physical necessity, 
affected the mind also, and that the degree of influence com- 
municated was exactly proportionate to the force, kind and 
quantity, of the agent, and the excitability of the part of the 
body to which the application is made. He also saw, that 
certain states of the mind, original in themselves, reverted 
their influence back upon the body. Conducted by the same 
channel of investigation, he beheld certain parts of the body, 
as well as certain states of the mind, linked together in more 
intimate and sensible connection than the rest, and exerted 
their reciprocal powers more quickly and extensively. Thus 
he contemplated the affections and gentle emotions of the 


mind scintillating, from fibre to fibre, the flame of alacrity 
and excitement, grief, sorrow and despair, enervating the 
whole fabric, the angry passions distorting the heaven-born 
aspect of man with tumult and confusion, and extending 
their ravages to the throne of life while he viewed with de- 
light and secret satisfaction salutary and benign influence 
which the understanding and the reason, the judgment and 
the moral faculty in friendship also with his exterior and 
social relations, imparted to the whole system of man. Thus, 
also, he contemplated with emotions of practical joy the 
stomach, like the sun in the center of the planetary system, 
diffusing the light and warmth of life and energy and dart- 
ing its rays throughout the whole of the human sys- 
tem. The truth rushed in upon his mind, and he drew these 
grand practical inferences — that the stomach is the origin and 
fountain an important dispenser of motion and sympathetic 
association between the remote parts of the body and mind, 
that whatever impression or agent unnaturally affects or in- 
jures it, affects or injures, in the same degree, the whole sys- 
tem of life and thought; and that this fountain is curtailed 
in its powers of dispensation by whatever in aliment, or drink, 
or otherwise lessens and obtunds its native and original quan- 
tity of excitability — thus extinguishing the light of life and ac- 
tivity, in every corner of its associate dependencies. 

Convinced of the truth of these important facts in the 
physical history of man, he sought about their application. 
In this research, he fell in with the vestiges, and pursued 
them to the stronghold of the Monster, whose syren voice 
breathed delight and destruction in the same blast. Here he 
beheld his gorgeous dwelling enthroned upon Sensation, 
and the sure ministers of his designs, under the mask of in- 
dulgence, pleasure, delight and ecstacy, laying waste the 
fairest portion of creation! Subverting the moral sense and 
sense of Deity, the main pillars of that noble edifice the 
mind; and ambuscading the walks of life, with disease, de- 
formity and pemature death! Thus inflicting on the human 


race more pain and misery than the combined influence of 
pestilence and war ! Persuaded of the necessary and inevitable 
deterioration of the moral and physical character of all who 
throw themselves within the sphere of the dominion of that 
Hydra (I mean sensation) ; and called upon by the destinies 
of professional education to exercise one of the most impor- 
tant functions in society; involving the obligation to display 
whatever of greatness and goodness he might profess; Doctor 
Jones put his habits, his manners, his passions and appetites 
under the control of his will. Hence he probably derived the 
reason of his temperance. 

From the earliest accounts of him, to the end of his long 
life, he was a prodigy, in this country at least, of temperance, 
both in the indulgence of his appetite and the passions of his 

His diet, in the use of which he was singularly temper- 
ate, was simple and mostly vegetable. He ate sparingly of 
animal food, well done, with wiiich he occasionally used pepper 
and salt. Among the articles of vegetable diet he gave the 
preference to wheat bread on which he was wont to make the 
principal part of his meal. He rejected the whole catalogue 
of codiments, except the two mentioned, and had a particular 
dislike to the saccharine and oleaginous, especially butter of 
the least rancidity. He had an aversion, also, to mutton, 
crabs and onions. Exclusive of these exceptions, he had no 
choice in the articles of his solid food. His politeness, however, 
always got the better of these antipathies, and induced him 
to partake of whatever was placed before him. 

For many years before his death, he entirely rejected the 
use of vinous and spirituous fluids. In early and middle life, 
when much exhausted by the fatigues of his profession, he 
would take a draught of porter, or gin, much diluted; and, 
after dinner, one glass of wine. Next to water he preferred cof- 
fee. These were his only beverages for the last twelve years of 
his life. Of the latter, he was particularly fond, and used free- 
ly, whenever it was offered him. He drank it morning and eve- 


ning and had recourse to it at all times, to relieve the fatigue, 
and to support the patience and vigilance, so certain and un- 
avoidable, in line of his profession. 

How fraught with happy effects would this lesson of ex- 
perience be, if men generally, but especially physicians, could 
be induced to follow it! Fatigue and weariness necessarily 
molest the walks of your profession, but apply not for re- 
dress, Physician, to the Omnipotent throne of alcohol of 
which wine is the gaudy appendage! Imitate the maxim of 
this veteran in our art! Exhilarate the exhausted powers of 
your system by the salutary and agreeable stimulus of coffee, 
which leaves no sting, hazards no virtue, destroys no talent. 
I shall make no apology for this minute detail of the furni- 
ture of the table and sideboard of our late President. It is 
no uninteresting part in the history of his life. Not only 
individuals, but whole nations, bear testimony to the good 
effects of simplicity and temperance in the use of aliments and 
drinks upon the moral and intellectual faculties and the long- 
evity of man. Carneades, Edwards and Newton, accelerated 
the operations of their minds by temperance and abstinence. 
The Spartans probably owed their mental pre-eminence to 
their black broth. And the barley broth of Scotland has no 
doubt contributed much to that reputation for genius and 
learning which its inhabitants have acquired in every part 
of the world. But we shall never arrive at the certainty of 
system in our knowledge of the effects of aliments and drinks 
upon the human mind and body, till we preserve a minute 
record of the dietetic habits of men, with whom their salutary 
effects have been apparent. The influence which temperance 
exerts upon the moral faculty has rendered fasting a com- 
mon ceremony in the religion of most countries. Did Doctor 
Jones owe to the toils and hardships of his ealy life much of 
the activity and vigor of his constitution? To industry com- 
bined with temperance we may attribute his longevity ; to his 
simplicity and care in the indulgence of his appetite he was 
largely indebted for the vigor and strength in the faculties of 


his mind ; for that rectitude and dignity of character, and for 
the virtues which accompanied him to the end, and sustained 
him at the approach of death. 

By thus resisting the influence of causes which enlarge the 
imagination and inflame the passions, at the expense of morals 
and judgment, he was enabled to subdue the original quickness 
and velocity of his temper ; to cultivate his understanding ; to 
expand his reason, and to cherish all the feelings of virtue 
and sociality. If by such habits, the limits of his fancy and 
imagination were bounded, and his passions lost their erratic 
tone, the other, and more useful, faculties of his mind and 
qualities of his heart, were strengthened and extended. His 
memory, perfect and juvenile in his last moments, was thus 
rendered an extensive and faithful repository of events, facts, 
opinions and principles. It was fed through the avenues of 
all his senses which to the end of an advanced old age were 
thus made to retain their nature and primitive sensibility. 

From this copious reservoir his will, toned by temperance 
and industry, marshalled the materials of the operations of 
his reason and judgment unobscured by the vagaries of imagi- 
nation and hypotheses. On the fine loom moves tissue of 
fancy. These agents, in the hands of Providence, made Doctor 
Jones what he was— a great and good man, and an excellent 
practitioner of the medical art. The early military habits of 
Doctor Jones were observable to the end of his life, in uni- 
form neatness and cleanliness of his person, and the order in 
which he always kept his arms and accoutrements. In robust 
manhoo'd he took much delight in the exercise and amuse- 
ment of hunting on horseback. He was an excellent horse- 
man and an uncommon good marksman. 

I shall beg no pardon for being thus circumstantial in my 
detail of his private life. Even the amusements of men who 
have in any way distinguished themselves worthy of our admi- 
ration and praise, are not uninteresting anecdotes in an ac- 
count of their lives. 


Circumstances, often very slight and unperceived, have 
great effect in evolving and forming particular characters. 
Franklin acknowledged the force of this truth, when he de- 
tailed to us, in the history of his own life, his amusements 
of swimming and chessplaying. But the business of his pro- 
fession alone gave Doctor Jones continued exercise, and occu- 
pied nearly the whole of his time. "With these he mingled 
application to various subjects of knowledge. He read much, 
and chiefly upon medical, agricultural and political subjects. 

His hours of study, the only time he could save from an 
extensive practice, were from 10 to 12 in the evening, and 
from 4 to 7 in the morning. He was a strict economist of 
time, which he appeared to consider as a species of property 
that no man had a right to take from him without his con- 
sent. It was by means of this economy and the system to 
which he reduced everything about him, that he was enabled 
to do so much in his profession; as much, if not more, than 
any of his younger brethren in this place could effect. 

It may be well said of Doctor Jones that he lived by 
rule, without subjecting himself to the slavery of forms. 
He was always employed, but never in a hurry. 

In the early part of his life he commonly devoted 6 or 7 
hours out of the 24 to sleep. But the frequent interruptions 
to repose from professional calls induced a habit in him, at 
length, of waking up almost every hour of the night. For the 
last thirty years, three or four hours of sleep sufficed with 
him to recruit the exhaustion of the day. 

We have to regret, in common with the rest of the inhabi- 
tants of Savannah, the devastation on property, committed by 
the fire of 1796. By that accident Doctor Jones was deprived 
of all of his books and papers, and use of many valuable and 
interesting documents, particularly his records of the condi- 
tion and phenomena of our climate, which he had kept for 
many years. Convinced of the great and very extensive in- 
fluence which temperatures and other conditions of the at- 


mosphere exert in the production and prevalence of disease, he 
made meteorology for many years an object of his particular 
attention. Of his accuracy and faithfulness in recording the 
phenomena of this interesting science, he has left behind him 
some instructing monuments. Numbers from 1796 to the 
first day of the present year have been preserved. From a 
cursory review of them, it appears that he took particular 
notice of the degrees of heat, both in the sun and shade, and 
at different times in the day and night, of the direction of the 
currents of the air, of the quantity and frequency of rains, 
of the different degrees of dampness and clearness of the at- 
mosphere, of the aerial electricity and explosion, and of frosts 
and high winds — all as they appeared conjointly or separately. 
In the course of a month there was not a single hour in the 
day and night against which the observation of temperature 
was not marked once or oftener, but commonly his hours of 
observation were 2, 5, 7 and 12 in the fore and 2 and 10 in 
the afternoon. He continued these observations to the day of 
the illness which terminated his valuable life. On that day, 
the 1st of January, as if willing to undertake another year of 
labor and observation, and determined not to outlive his useful- 
ness, he made the following, his last record of the weather: 
"January 1st, 1805 — at 3 a. m. the heat forty degrees; clear 
and starlight. ' ' 

After the fire of 1796 Doctor Jones retired into the country 
with the intention of declining practice; but he soon became 
convinced that habits of industry and activity, once formed, 
could not be laid aside with impunity. Under a life of coun- 
try indolence, his active mind and body both languished and 
grew sick. His extremities, long accustomed to the tone of 
continued exercise and motion, became fatigued by rest; 
waxed painful and swollen, and threatened abscess. Having 
remained in this condition in the country about six weeks, 
he was advised by his friends to return again to the busy 
scenes of practice. He complied; and when upward of 70 
years of age re-entered with as much industry as ever the 


beloved theater of his professional actions, which he continued 
with a renewal of cheerfulness and health to the first day of 
the present year. 

Doctor Jones' social and domestic character was the most 
mild and amiable. If he could say nothing commendatory of 
one, he avoided giving or offering an opinion. His benevolence 
and charity were unbounded. He preserved economy in all 
his own expenses; but gave liberally to the poor and all use- 
ful institutions. He was long a member of the Union Society, 
of this place, and several times its President. This is the oldest 
and most respectable charitable institution in the state. His 
modesty was so great, that he cautiously avoided mentioning 
any material action of his life, lest it should have the air of 
vanity. His delicacy of manner was such that he was seldom 
known to ask for refreshment or make known a want, fearing 
it might occasion what he deemed trouble. Knowing his dispo- 
sition, his family always had prepared, as if it were by acci- 
dent, whatever they thought would be agreeable to him. He was 
indulgent to his servants, and so extremely affectionate to his 
relatives that he forgot his own indisposition while watching 
over and attending upon them when sick. For his success 
in his profession and all the services he had been enabled to 
bestow upon his family, his fellow citizens, and his country, 
he gave to God the praise ; without prejudice, superstition or 
bigotry, he believed and practiced the wide and rational 
precepts of our holy religion. To the silence of medical in- 
fidelity be it spoken, that those who have the most improved 
and adorned our profession, in all ages, have been the friends 
and supporters of religion. Nor shall I defile the purity of 
their religious character, if to Hippocrates and Galen in the 
first, and Sydenham, Hoffman and Boerhaave in the middle, 
I add Doctor Jones to Cheselden and Fothergill, in the modern, 
age of medicine. In the progress of my inquiry after anec- 
dotes of the early life and character of our President, I had 
recourse to the oldest memories the circle of my acquaintance 
furnished. All of them cherished a faithful record of the 
virtues I have attempted to portray. One of these, in which 


the dementing inroads of time had obscured the recollection of 
almost every event still retained, asseverated this forcible ex- 
pression : ' ' That he was as good a man as ever lived ! Indeed, 
were I permitted to epitomize his character. I would exclaim, 
in the apposite eulogy on Hippocrates by Galen; 'That there 
was but one sentiment in his soul, and that was the love of 
doing good; and, in the course of his long life, but one act, 
and that was the relieving the sick.' " 

Doctor Jones had fourteen children, and survived them all 
but his son, whom we have mentioned. The day on which 
he was taken ill was the fiftieth of his nuptials. It was a cus- 
tom with him to celebrate its anniversary by assembling his 
numerous family to dinner with him. This patriarchal assem- 
bly convened for the last time on the 1st of January, 1804. 
He then observed to his son, ' ' It was the best he could give, ' ' 
and requested him to prepare the next, should he and the 
ancient partner of his life, be still living. The welcome in- 
junction was obeyed, and an invitation sent to his parents to 
vhich he received as apology the indisposition of his fatner. 

From much fatigue and exposure to cold in attending upon 
several obstetric patients, the two or three last nights, Doctor 
Jones was attacked on the morning of the 1st of January, 1805, 
with pain in his back and extremities, particularly his feet 
and legs, which he said had been much affected by the severity 
of the cold. In this condition, he returned from visiting some 
of his patients, about 10 o'clock in the morning; and was ad- 
vised by his son to rest and the use of medicine. His friends 
hoped that his indisposition was slight, and, arising mostly 
from fatigue, would be removed by refreshment and gentle 
means ; but he had and expressed from the first of his going to 
bed, a presentiment that his illness would be fatal. His disease 
continued two or three days, as it commenced, without assum- 
ing any characteristic or specific form. It was fever of the 
Synocha grade of excitement, with a sense of weariness and 
lassitude over the system generally, attended with some pain 
in the lumbar regions and extremeties, frequently changing 
place, and with cramps in the muscles of his legs. 


He was now about his eightieth year, had never been bled, 
and only once blistered, from which he then suffered so much 
that he felt loath ever after to recur to their use. These con- 
siderations induced in himself a disinclination to use, and in 
his attendants to urge, at first either of these remedies, so ob- 
viously indicated. Thus several days elapsed under a mild 
depleted regimen; then his disease which as yet had worn 
only the livery of the complaints of the season, evolved itself. 
It was now evidently the pneumonic state of fever, with an 
aggravation of all the original symptoms. The lancet and 
vesicating remedies were now urged by his physicians. 
"Though," he said, "he had himself no hope of relief from 
remedies, he conceived it a duty he owed to his family and 
his Maker to submit to whatever treatment was advised." 
Blood was let three or four times, which exhibited much in- 
flammatory scurf ; blisters were applied and the antiphlogistic 
system adopted in its extent. The activity and force of his 
pulse continued unrestrained, and his malady augmented. 
His arteries would seem to have been literally the ultirrmm 
moriens of his system, such was the force and vigor of their ac- 
tion to the very last. The citizens of Savannah evinced their 
love and affection, and the whole medical faculty of this place 
their respect for Doctor Jones, by their frequent calls and in- 
quiries after his health. 

About 1 o'clock in the afternoon of the 8th day of his 
indisposition he requested that, having submitted to treat- 
ment which had been painful and ineffectual, for the satis- 
faction of his family and friends, finding it was difficult to 
swallow, and feeling that he had but a few more hours to re- 
main in this life, he might be indulged to sleep them away. 

He fell into a doze; and about 3 o'clock on the morning of 
the 9th, he expired, without a struggle or a groan! The sol- 
emnity of this scene, the most impressive I ever witnessed, 
affected and depressed my mind in a peculiar manner. It was 
such an emotion of soul, such as any of you would have felt 
at contemplating so much virtue, goodness and greatness, 


paying the debt of mortality! Our President is no more! 
At this mournful event, every bosom heaves the heartfelt sigh ; 
every mind is affected with grief, sorrow and regret ! 

To you, respectable relicts of his departed worth, the loss 
is peculiarly afflicting — is irreparable — but I am advancing 
on forbidden ground. A regard, I hope a delicate and proper 
one, for the feelings of some of those who honor me with their 
presence, forbids my touching on a subject so affecting. It 
would be rude indeed thus publicly to intrude upon the sanc- 
tuary of recent sorrow. The feeling bosom can well appreciate 
this truth, that there is a degree of woe which must be suffered 
to retire and weep. It is only the silence and secrecy of sorrow 
that are truly devine. What consolation can we offer to the 
immediate relatives of our departed President, when we have 
not yet obtained consolation for ourselves ! The emotions of 
joy which should have hailed the access of this day, the first 
anniversary of the birth of Medical Science in our state, are 
destroyed by the melancholy recognition of the death of its 
progenitor and father! The hall of philosophic fraternity 
is converted into the Temple of Mourning ! The orphan genius 
of our Infant Institution celebrates the first annual morn of 
its nativity, bathed in sorrow, and despair, for the loss of the 
venerable author of its existence. Thus, their as well as our, 
only resource lies in the mellowing influence of time, and a 
calm resignation to the will of that Being who gave and has 
recalled our, as well as their, endeared and beloved ancestor. 
Let them as well as ourselves be comforted! His venerable 
shade has flown to a mansion where it is reposing from its 
toils and labors, and enjoying an eternity of youth in the retri- 
bution of his virtues and his services. 

From that region of beatitude and everlasting joy let 
fall, V-enerable Shade ! the mantle of thy protection, upon 
this Infant Society. Impart to it the duration and firmness 
of thy own nature. Inspire its members with that holy ardor 
in the duties of their profession, which animated thee, and 
eaused to be inscribed on the door of the Hall of its Assem- 
blies : "Let no man enter here, who is not devoted to Medicine."